Essay: Formal pattern of a Shakespearean sonnet

Sample Essay

In many of the sonnets it was found that the thematic pattern of a Petrarch structure was imposed onto the formal pattern of a Shakespearean sonnet –in the sense that though there are three quatrains and one couplet, the first two quatrains might ask a question which would consequently be answered by the third quatrain and couplet. Such juxtaposition creates a much more complex than found otherwise in Shakespearean sonnets.

With the exception of certain sonnets such as the sonnets 99, 126 and 145, the rest follow a typical English pattern. Each of them is the fourteen line poem in the form of iambic pentameter which comprises of four sections but however, Shakespeare’s sonnets do not have the traditional effect of expressing an idea in each quatrain and the argument or summary in the ending.

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